Rants and Weekly Raves (RAWR) #377

Anne: Ah...where was I? Yes, last week I ended up watching an older 2021 drama. This week started with me scouring all my subscriptions, looking for something interesting to watch. For most of the week, nothing interesting came up. Chinese dramas have been on the decline as of late, with very little coming out. Granted, I do have very specific tastes, so for people who like modern dramas or serious dramas, they might have found something to binge. The stuff at work still continues to be one very long and very annoying set of series of events. However, this week might be a turning point for me in finding some interesting new dramas.

 Danger Zone

I've caught up to episode 20. I just need to wait until Friday for the last two episodes, and I can binge the last 4. It is clear that everyone is somehow connected to that Christmas massacre 10 years ago, but the why of the events is still unknown. After Si Qi was kidnapped, the team raced trying to locate her. They all know who did it, and Ren Fei acted like the young hot-head he was and went to confront him, which wasn't very effective. Yang Yu Lu, the new police precinct captain, looks more and more likely to be in cahoots with the mastermind. What Si Qi found inside the basement secret room was more than just dead bodies of migrant workers whose organs were harvested for the rich, powerful, and connected, she also found a woman in a coma. This woman appears to be Xu Song's (the mastermind's) wife. The one that his adopted son (the serial killer in the first arc) killed when he was a teenager. It is still unclear why he is doing so much to keep these two alive. And the audacity of this man to still think that he can just clean this mess up by killing everyone is...almost inspiring... as in the delusion one must have to think that he is so much above everyone else. The good news is that Ren Fei and Liang Yan Dong worked to save Si Qi by pretending to fall into their enemy's trap. The bad news is that before they were able to carry that out said plan, due to some misunderstandings, our favorite captain (Captain Tan, on the right) died. This is some superb story telling. Every episode, something else is revealed, allowing the audience to start piecing together the puzzle without having to guess. A very good crime drama.

The King's Affection

How much do I LOVE this show! As our royal tutor (Ji Woon) gets pushed more and more into a position that he doesn't want by his father and the crown prince's grandfather, he is obviously finding the company of the crown prince quite enjoyable. Although he is hitting himself a bit more in the head every time he dazes off thinking about how adorable the prince is, he is constantly finding himself looking forward to seeing him. Also, with him being in the palace, he starts to remember the young maid Yeon Seon, and finding out that she passed away due to illness outside the palace when they were little (the information provide by the dead girl herself). I guess in a way of mourning, he is renovating the "haunted" courtyard that they used to hang out at as kids. In the meantime, Hyun, the royal cousin who found out that Lee Hwi was a girl very early on, is looking at Ji Woon a bit more carefully as he watches the odd relationship between them develop. And of course with So Eun, the title young lady who has taken a liking to Ji Woon, entering the picture, this complicated one-sided crushes are creating some odd and very awkward moments.

For example, worse accidental double date ever! (She did finally realize what the flowers were for, so she was quite moved.)

And who can forget this scene when she gave a well deserved beat down to the Ming's chief eunuch. 

I mean there was no girly fighting on her part. She beat him down and continued to punch him until she knocked out his teeth.

And this is the other reason why I really do enjoy this drama. She is able to accomplish all the "physical" things that her brother would have been able to do, without anyone ever figuring out that she was a girl. The training fight scene with the guards was quite nice to watch.

Detective/Inspector Koo

The introduction sequence to our FL made my skin crawl. And the computer!

No wonder your computer keeps freezing. There are roaches making their home in it! This is like my worse nightmare. There was a horror short film (like 30 years ago?) that ended with the victim being killed by roaches. Shudder.... 

But back to the drama. I LOVE the character. She is a 40 year old woman playing online games with a bunch of 20 year olds. Santa...can he speak? He can right? I even love the character of the serial killer, K. Yes, she surely has a screw loose somewhere. But she is an outsider who is unaffected by how people see her. I mean, I'm only on episode 4, but this odd "cheerfulness" on a non-homicidal/psychopathic person is actually a very positive trait of independence. And can we say how brave Keon Wook is to frame K to be thrown in jail. Of course, she really should not have messed with his boyfriend.

Bright as the Moon

This was a surprising find for me while I was searching the web for new things to watch. It's already aired quite a few episodes, so it's not new-new. The story starts with our FL, being kidnapped by some rich guy, because her web novel is somehow putting him in unfortunate situations in real life. He somehow thinks that whatever she is writing is causing all his bad luck. And when he disappears and his henchmen come looking for her, she wishes for escape and Boom! She gets transported to some ancient time as a "princess" and future wife of the crown prince, whom she doesn't even like. 

When she first ends up in her new "role" upon awakening, she realizes that no one believes that she doesn't know who she is. Because apparently, faking amnesia was a favorite past-time of the previous inhabitant of the body. She decides pretty quick, as most transmigrated people do, that this must be a dream and she should just die to get back to her own time. When admitting to a crime she didn't commit didn't get her sentence to death, she decided that the next best thing was to zap her soul out of her body.

The contraption was quite ingenious. Too bad that the wooded area she in was had a lot of trees significantly taller than her.

Of course her nemesis from the modern time is also present. Apparently a man who was so sickly, he's been house bound for 10 years. And the first time he steps out of his front door, he runs into her, a girl whom he met a long time ago. Our FL thinks her nemesis is the "missing" rich guy who kidnapped her and she needs to bring him back if she is to escape from his goons. It's an odd start of a plot, so I'll see if it remains the comedy that it is packaging itself to be.

The Unknown Legend of Exorcist Zhong Kui

Wow...I didn't think I would ever come across another fantasy to rival Ice Fantasy...I may have been wrong. Everything about this from the very beginning seems dated. I mean I haven't seen such bad CGI in a very long time, not even on the new low budget productions. I had to double check that the ML is the same man from Eternal Love (the trilogy). What in the world?! Was he forced to make this drama? To top it off, it's 40 episodes. Granted it is separated into individual short stories, but dang, I'm not sure I have the time to waste to see if this gets better.

The funniest part of this entire thing actually has nothing to do the the drama itself, but the characters. As in the 3 main characters, Zhong Kui and his two sworn brothers. These 3 men team basically came back to life and was given heavenly weapons to defeat the evil (whom look very much like the western version of the devil... although given how apparently spider man also made an appearance, I wonder how much western influences this will have if I keep watching). The odd thing is...one of Zhong Kui's "brother" came back as a woman. And here's the thing that I really cannot get my head around...and it's something I have ranted about before...the illogical stance that somehow we can't have BL dramas, but a man who comes back as a woman who then falls in love with a man is somehow okay. 

If I have time, I might play this in the background just to see...but I'm not so sure I want to have these images anywhere in my memory.

That's all for this week. I would highly recommend anyone who is looking for short dramas to check out Mangos' short dramas. It's not the best subbing, but the stories are quite interesting and the characters a bit out of the ordinary. And at only 10-12 minutes a show usually with 20 episodes, you can finish in one day. The only downside is a lot of these don't end.